State Senator Michael Frerichs of Illinois, a YEO and PFAW Action Fund candidate, is running for re-election against a local Tea Party leader, Al Reynolds. During a forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the NAACP, Reynolds claimed that “minority men find it more lucrative to be able to do drugs or other avenues rather than do education. It's easier.” He went on to say that African American men only pursue “sports avenues” when it comes to finding jobs. Reynolds is the founder and leader of the East Central Illinois Tea Party Patriots, and has previously called on states to “nullify” federal laws which they disagree with. Frerichs hit back on Reynolds’s stereotyping:
A few minutes later Reynolds' opponent, state Sen. Mike Frerichs, D-Champaign, addressed his opponents' comments.
"I've been in this community for a long time now. I've been working in this community for a long time and I've worked with a lot of African-American men. They're not pursuing careers in sports. They're not trying to sell drugs. They're trying to support their families. They're trying to be good people," he said.
"I've attended church around here. There are good families around here. There are some obstacles placed in their way and the state needs to tear them down. But I've met a lot of good people in this area and I don't think we should stereotype them all like that."
Frerichs' remarks received sustained applause from the audience, which included a number of African-Americans.
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